While slate has long been the standard for high-quality pool surfaces, it does have a few drawbacks. If you have a slate pool table under consideration, think about this surface’s pros and cons to find out if slate is the best material for your pool table surface.
Downsides to Owning a Slate Pool Table
Most people like to start with the bad news so the good news cheers them up. Slate surfaces are not perfect. They have a few downsides that may make another surface material a better option for some people.
The most notable downsides to slate tables are the cost and weight of the material. Slate tables have higher costs due to sourcing the natural slate rock for the surface. Plus, the extra work of piecing together the table and fitting it into a sturdy frame that will support the weight also contributes to the higher cost. For these reasons, most casual players may only encounter MDF (medium density fiberboard) tables if they play on budget-friendly models.
Benefits of Owning a Pool Table
While there are a few downsides, many people find the benefits of owning a slate table outweigh these. For instance, a slate pool table may cost more, but it can last for a lifetime with good care. Additionally, only slate tables are approved for use in non-professional games sanctioned by the Billiards Congress of America and in tournament play for the World Pool Association. Therefore, if you are competitive at any level, even recreationally, you need a slate table.
The weight of these tables requires extra sturdy support wherever you place them. Plus, you will need professional movers to dismantle and move the table without harming the slate. These downsides may become benefits because some people may try to DIY moving an MDF table. While these types of pool tables are not as heavy as slate, they are hefty and can sustain damage or cause injury if moved improperly. The extra care slate table owners take when moving their tables helps to prevent such incidents.
Do You Really Need a Slate Pool Table?
The answer depends. Frequent pool players claim that they can readily tell the difference between playing on slate versus on an MDF table. Generally, slate tables allow for smooth, fast play. However, first-time pool players or those who only occasionally play may not notice this difference.
If you have a tight budget or want a smaller pool table, a tournament-grade slate table may not be the best option for you now. But if you find that you have more room in the future, save up for a slate table that will last for years and give you high-quality play.
Find Your Pool Table, Accessories, and More at A&C Billiards and Barstools
Whether you choose a slate or MDF table, you can find it among the wide variety of pool tables that we have at A&C Billiards and Barstools. Choose your favorite way to shop, online or in our store in the City of Industry. We can help you to find the slate pool table that meets your needs or an alternative that better suits your pool preferences.